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Tulane sputters to 37-7 loss against Duke in season opener

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk runs against Tulane cornerback Donnie Lewis on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.

Facing fourth-and-1 at the Tulane 14-yard line in the second quarter Thursday night, Duke gambled for a first down, and quarterback Thomas Sirk gained 12 yards on a keeper to pick it up easily. The Blue Devils, who have gone to three consecutive bowl games and won a school-record 19 games over the past two years,… Continue reading →

Tulane’s opener had many of the troubles from 2014: stagnant offense, special-teams woes and a lopsided result

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Duke running back Shaun Wilson runs for a big gain against Tulane on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015.

New-look Tulane bore far too much resemblance to the team that ended 2014 by losing its final three games in ugly fashion to finish 3-9. In its 2015 opener against Duke, the Green Wave had the same offensive woes and suffered the same special teams blows that sank last season. Only this time, the Wave could… Continue reading →

Despite underdog status, coach Curtis Johnson confident the Wave can buck history in season opener against Duke

Associated Press/News & Observer file photo by CHUCK LIDDY -- Tulane safety Darion Monroe tries to bring down Duke quarterback Anthony Boone during the Blue Devils’ 47-13 win last year at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C. The teams meet again Thursday when they open the season Thursday at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.

Tulane forced a fumble on the first play of its home opener against Georgia Tech last season and scored a touchdown a minute later. Spanking new Yulman Stadium was hopping. The feeling on the field was the Yellow Jackets weren’t stopping the Green Wave in its long-awaited return to its uptown campus. By the fourth quarter, though, fans hoping for a big… Continue reading →

Four downs: Duke at Tulane — Guerry Smith examines Thursday night’s game

Advocate file photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Tulane cheerleader Carly Swan cheers before last year's season opener between Tulane and Georgia Tech at the first game in Yulman Stadium on Sept. 5, 2014.

1. POSITIVE START Tulane, which has lost 13 of its last 17 dating to the middle of 2013, could use an upset victory in the worst way in Thursday’s season opener. Incredibly, the last time the Green Wave won the first game it played against an FBS opponent was the perfect season of 1998. Continue reading →

Lewis: Tulane adjusting access to Yulman Stadium

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tulane fans fille the stands at the first game played at Yulman Stadium last season.

Ultimately, of course, what happens on the field is what really matters. But at Tulane, what goes on inside and outside Yulman Stadium matters, too. A lot. So that’s why after getting generally good reviews about how things were done in its first year of operations — especially with traffic control and what school… Continue reading →

Tulane announces American Athletic Conference schedule

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Tulane basketball coach Ed Conroy

The Tulane men’s basketball team will face traditional powers Cincinnati and Temple only once in the American Athletic Conference this year, catching a slight break from the league’s schedule makers. The AAC released its entire slate Tuesday, sticking with the format of 18 games it used last year. That means every league school will have home-and-home series with… Continue reading →

Tulane's Andrew DiRocco named placekicker after Steven Logan pulls muscle

Tulane’s shaky place-kicking battle was settled by default. Sophomore Andrew DiRocco will be the Green Wave’s field-goal kicker against Duke on Thursday in part because walk-on freshman Steven Logan pulled a muscle in practice Sunday night. Coach Curtis Johnson had indicated that workout would determine the winner, but Logan’s injury settled it beforehand. “Logan got hurt,… Continue reading →

Ted Lewis: After Tulane’s 2014 struggles, Curtis Johnson needs to come up aces

Tulane coach Curtis Johnson (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Say this for Tulane coach Curtis Johnson: He’s all-in. All-in on his coaching staff despite a 3-9 record last season and finishing 114th nationally in total offense, 55th in total defense and last in special teams. All-in on his offensive and defensive schemes. Not much has changed there. All-in on his returning players. The… Continue reading →

A selfless senior leader and de facto on-field coach, Darion Monroe embodies everything Tulane trying to build

Photo courtesy of Tulane athletics -- Tulane's Darion Monroe takes a selfie with a student after a game at Yulman Stadium.

It wasn’t a long, winding road for Darion Monroe to get here. As the team’s captain and leader, the Tulane senior safety doesn’t need a lesson on leadership or a study session on the Green Wave’s defense entering his final season. After starting all of Tulane’s 37 games over the past three years, the outspoken… Continue reading →

Tulane football depth chart breakdown

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO  --  Tulane running back Sherman Badie

Quarterback No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. 12 Tanner Lee 6-4 220 So. 1 Devin Powell 6-3 241 Jr. 14 Glen Cuiellette… Continue reading →

American Athletic Conference preview: Projected division finishes, biggest storylines, more

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The American Athletic Conference does not have a marquee team this year. Its 12 schools combined for two votes in the coaches’ preseason Top 25 poll even though six of the league’s coaches are on the panel. The AAC does not have a marquee player. Of the 108 names on Athlon Sports’ four preseason… Continue reading →

With more positive factors in his favor, Tulane offensive coordinator Eric Price is confident a turnaround is coming this year

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO  --  Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee

It has been a long time since Tulane’s Eric Price has coached an offense that was anything other than abysmal. That statement is harsh but true, and here’s another bit of truth: Price, entering his fourth year as the Green Wave’s offensive coordinator under head coach Curtis Johnson, believes the pieces are in place for a dramatic… Continue reading →

Tulane football to remain on WMTI for now, others sports in limbo

R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know it” played in a two-song loop on New Orleans-area radio station WMTI-FM, 106.1 for most of Wednesday and until 3 p.m. Thursday, heralding a format change from sports talk to alternative rock. Apparently, it did not represent the end of WMTI carrying Tulane football games and coach… Continue reading →

Lewis: More confident Tanner Lee big key for Tulane

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee scrambles for a first down against Southeastern Louisiana last month at Yulman Stadium. Lee, who suffered a shoulder injury Sept. 27 at Rutgers, could return Oct. 31 when the Green Wave hosts Cincinnati.

Chris Lamothe, Tulane quarterback Tanner Lee’s position coach back at Jesuit High School, used to teach him that “the quickest way to learn is from messing up.” If so, that means Lee learned a ton last season. As a redshirt freshman, Lee finished 10th in the 11-team American Athletic Conference in quarterback rating with 14 interceptions vs. only… Continue reading →

Tulane draws Curtis Johnson’s ire in ‘sloppy’ practice

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Coach Curtis Johnson is expecting big things from the Green Wave this season.

After a positive preseason camp, Tulane football coach Curtis Johnson found plenty to be negative about in Monday morning’s practice. He benched the entire first-team defense for not hustling enough during an 11-on-11 drill. He yelled at receivers who dropped passes. Then he ripped them again as he talked about the practice. Whether it was part motivational technique… Continue reading →

Tanner Lee, Green Wave sharp in scrimmage that ends preseason camp

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Tulane Green Wave quarterback Tanner Lee (12) hands off to Tulane Green Wave running back Lazedrick Thompson (33) during Spring practice at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, La. Saturday, March 7, 2015.

After leading the first-team offense inside the 10-yard line during Tulane’s last preseason scrimmage, sophomore quarterback Tanner Lee found running back Sherman Badie over the middle for a 7-yard touchdown pass. The play epitomized the day for the Green Wave. Taking what the defense gave him and checking down repeatedly, Lee spread the ball around as Tulane ended… Continue reading →

Tulane wide receiver Teddy Veal turning heads — thanks in large part to his extra work

Advocate file photo by KYLE ENCAR -- Tulane wide receiver Teddy Veal tries to get the edge as Temple linebacker Avery Williams and defensive back Will Hayes pursue him during a Dec. 6 game at Yulman Stadium. Veal had 40 catches for 381 yards as a redshirt freshman last season, with one receiving touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

Tanner Lee has a No. 1 target. Tulane’s third-year sophomore quarterback isn’t bashful about heaping praise upon sophomore receiver Teddy Veal. After a season in which the Green Wave’s options at receiver dwindled and offensive production evaporated, Lee is anticipating a bounceback in the passing game, thanks largely to his relationship with Veal. The pair has worked together… Continue reading →

Struggles continue for Tulane kickers

Associated Press file photo by TOM GILBERT -- Tulane's Andrew DiRocco (64) misses a potential game-winning field goal in a 38-31 double-overtime loss to Tulsa earlier this season at Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.

Exactly two weeks from the season opener against Duke, Tulane still has no place-kicker who inspires any confidence. The front-runners fared poorly in a kicking drill during Thursday morning’s practice, bringing back memories of 2014 when no one had an idea whether the Green Wave could make a field goal from anywhere on… Continue reading →

Lewis: Tulane’s Rob Kelley glad to be back in the game

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tulane running back Rob Kelley (28) is forced out of bounds by UL-Lafayette safety Trevence Patt (4) after a catch during the first quarter Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Rob Kelley didn’t attend Tulane’s debut game in Yulman Stadium last year. That would have been too emotionally painful. And, sure enough, when we he did go to the second home game, he cried. When you’ve played on somebody’s football team since you were 6, being suspended for what would have been your… Continue reading →

Tulane tight ends feature potential

Advocate file photo by A.J. SISCO -- Tulane tight end Charles Jones pulls in a Tanner Lee pass as Memphis linebackers Leonard Pegues and Tank Jakes wrap him up last season at Yulman Stadium.

Tulane tight end Charles Jones III played a game of famous name association when talking about the four players at his position after practice Tuesday. Fellow sophomore Trey Scott, one of the fastest players on the team, is Aaron Hernandez (the on-field version, he quickly added, as a hedge against anyone who is easily offended). Senior… Continue reading →

Wave of the present: Tulane eyes a quick turnaround

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- The Green Wave come charging onto the field at the beginning of the game as Tulane fans gather to cheer their team on during the opening season game against Georgia Tech in Tulane's new Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

With only three senior starters overall and a gaggle of underclassmen still dominating the offensive skill positions, Tulane appears to be a year away from reaching its potential. Still, fourth-year coach Curtis Johnson is not interested in lowering expectations. Coming off a disappointing 3-9 debut season in the American Athletic Conference, he wants an immediate return to… Continue reading →

Freshman place-kicker Steven Logan kicking his way into contention at Tulane

Freshman place-kicker Steven Logan considered Georgia Tech before walking on at Tulane. In an interesting twist, it turns out his choice may have given him the best chance to kick at the Yellow Jackets’ Bobby Dodd Stadium this year. Tulane plays at Georgia Tech on Sept. 12, and Logan outperformed holdovers Steven DiRocco and Trevor Simms as well… Continue reading →

After beating cancer, Tulane DE Luke Jackson not content to just be on team

Advocate Staff Photo by Eliot Kamenitz---Quarterback Nick Montana hands off to Luke Jackson during Tulane football practice on Thursday, August 8, 2013.

Less than two years after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, Luke Jackson is pushing for serious playing time during Tulane’s preseason football camp. Never mind the feel good story about a guy overcoming a major health scare just to stay on the team. Jackson, a redshirt sophomore defensive end from LaPlace, appears ready to… Continue reading →

Notebook: Devon Breaux gets plenty of attention in Tulane scrimmage

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Tulane wide receiver Devon Breaux (8) makes a key reception in the second quarter of the Tulane-UL-Lafayette R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Saturday in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

It wasn’t without controversy, but junior receiver Devon Breaux got plenty of attention in Tulane’s scrimmage on Saturday afternoon. He snagged a pair of long passes from quarterback Tanner Lee, including a touchdown in red zone drills and a 47-yarder agains the first-team defense. “It’s been a renaissance, and since (former receivers coach and current Nebraska… Continue reading →

Tanner Lee shines in Tulane scrimmage

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Tulane Green Wave quarterback Tanner Lee (12) scrambles for a one yard gain in the second quarter as Cincinnati Bearcats defensive end Brad Harrah (93) comes in for the tackle during pal at Yulman Stadium  in New Orleans, La. Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.

Facing a third down in the red zone portion of Tulane’s first preseason scrimmage, redshirt sophomore quarterback Tanner Lee zipped a pass through a tight window to wide receiver Devon Breaux before he finished his route. Breaux turned around and the ball was right there for a 17-yard touchdown. In an otherwise sloppy 75-play scrimmage full of fumbles… Continue reading →

Tulane looking for players to separate themselves in Saturday’s scrimmage

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Tulane Green Wave running back Dontrell Hilliard (26) grabs a pass during Spring practice at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, La. Saturday, March 7, 2015.

The time for separation has come. While the position battles at Tulane’s football practices have been intriguing to coaches and ramped up the competitiveness at a handful of positions, coach Curtis Johnson is ready to see some front-runners. Saturday morning’s scrimmage, expected to feature between 35 to 50 plays, is the kind of opportunity Green Wave… Continue reading →

NCAA clears Tulane running back Nigel Anderson

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  East St. John's Nigel Anderson, left, runs past the grip of Archbishop Rummel's Tyrell Jacobs during a game Sept. 5. Anderson is committed to Tulane and scheduled to sign his letter of intent Wednesday.

The Tulane football team’s crowded backfield is about to become even deeper. The NCAA Clearinghouse ruled freshman running back Nigel Anderson eligible to play this week after resolving an undisclosed issue with his academic record, freeing him to join the team after he missed the first week of preseason drills. Anderson, a former East St. John standout,… Continue reading →

After tearing three ligaments, Tulane’s Jarrod Franklin is eager to return

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tulane cornerback Jarrod Franklin sacks UTEP's Mack Leftwich (16) during the fourth quarter Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The return of safety Darion Monroe and linebacker Nico Marley gives the Tulane football team some proven star power. But the recovery of lesser-known nickelback Jarrod Franklin should provide just as big a jolt for the defense. Franklin, a third-year sophomore from University High, drew rave reviews from teammates and coaches in the spring of 2014… Continue reading →

Turnovers topping Tulane’s defensive priorities

Advocate file photo by A.J. SISCO -- Tulane cornerbacks Lorenzo Doss, left, and Parry Nickerson knock the ball away from Memphis receiver Adrian Henderson last season. Doss had 15 career interceptions when he declared for the NFL draft this spring. Nickerson had six picks last season and hopes to continue the tradition for the turnover-minded Green Wave.

Coming off a six-interception year in 2014, Tulane sophomore cornerback Parry Nickerson expects to cause even more turnovers as a sophomore. Asked how he could improve in preseason practice, he specifically mentioned working on over-the-back catches with co-defensive coordinator Lionel Washington. Over-the-back? Nickerson could have mentioned something more conventional like technique or footwork, but… Continue reading →

Tulane hopes to ride wave of experience

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Coach Curtis Johnson is expecting big things from the Green Wave this season.

A slew of mistakes sank Tulane’s football fortunes from start to finish last season. A year older and wiser, the Green Wave believes the mistake this time would be to assume those errors will happen again. With redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Lee directing a huddle that included as many as two freshman running backs, two… Continue reading →